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Your Growing Baby
Calming the Tears
Crying usually peaks at 6 weeks old, so if you’re tired of the waterworks from your little one, you can breathe a small sigh of relief that the tears should begin to lessen in coming weeks. But for the 20-25 percent of infants who experience colic — defined as sudden and prolonged bouts of inconsolable crying, lasting up to four hours at a time — you might have a while to go. For most babies, the condition shows up in the first few weeks, peaks right about now, and lasts until 3 or 4 months of age, when many babies outgrow it.
There are all sorts of theories about what triggers colic; some blame genetics, others gas, and still others cite reflux or an adverse reaction to something in mom’s breast milk or formula. The truth is that doctors still aren’t sure what causes it. If you’re concerned about your baby’s nonstop crankiness, talk to your pediatrician about altering your diet, switching formulas, or trying an antigas remedy, such as infant Mylicon drops. Or try some more homespun remedies, such as massaging his belly, bicycling his legs (it helps get gas out), swaddling him tightly, or holding him in a dark room to block out an overload of sensory input. No matter how bad it gets, be reassured that colic ends by 9 months of age for 90 percent of children.
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